The first-ever World Cities Day was celebrated on 31 October in cities around the world, from the UN Headquarters in New York to Tehran. The global celebration is one of the legacies of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
As the inaugural host city for the worldwide commemoration, the Shanghai celebrations took place at the Expo Park, where some 300 participants attended, including representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and UN-Habitat.
In a congratulatory letter to the World Cities Day activities in Shanghai, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called the city an important platform for human civilisation progress as well as social and economic development, reports Central China Television. He said that China’s urbanisation is putting people first by working to realise a rational distribution of cities and towns. Only innovative industries can bring about high-quality, sustainable urban development, he added.
The premier also called on the international community to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on green cities, smart cities, urban governance, and urban culture.
The idea of World Cities Day was first proposed at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and is aimed at promoting sustainable urban development in cities and towns around the world. The theme for the inaugural day, “Leading Urban Transformations”, highlighted the pioneering power of cities to reach creative solutions to improve our shared urban future and bring about the city we need and the future we want.
Photo credit: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank, flickr